Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bistecca Modena






     Bistecca Modena with Fettuccine and Garlic Kale!     
     I learned this recipe while apprenticing in Italian restaurants early in my career.  It is funny how one never forgets a good recipe, even when many years go by without preparing the recipe.  About 10 years after learning how to make Bistecca Modena, I was doing sauté work at a yacht club and I ran this Italian steak entrée as a special du jour.  The members and guests really liked this Modena style steak entrée.  
     Once again, more than a decade passed by, before I thought of Bistecca Modena again.  The reason this specialty was on my mind lately, was because it tasted so good!  I guess that purchasing a good bottle of Balsamic Vinegar that was imported from Modena, Italy, also had something to do with it.  
     Today's steak recipe is prepared in the style of Modena.  Modena is the home of Italian opera, Ferrari sports cars and traditional Cave Evaporated Balsamic Vinegar.  A good steak definitely fits into this picture!

     First of all, I do not do photo food.  In other words, I never make fake food that is enhanced to make it look better for photographs.  I consider fake photo food to be a deceptive marketing practice.  The same goes for computer photoshopped food pictures.
     I prefer to photograph reality.  I photograph food as soon as the food item finishes cooking and lands on the plate.  The food that I cook looks just like it is cooked and plated at a restaurant.  Part of the restaurant food plating procedure involves putting the food on the plate quickly, so the food is hot when it is served to a customer.
     I rarely allow a plate of food to cool off before photographing the recipe food example for an article.  The day in Chicago that the Bistecca Modena pictures were taken, the temperature was way below 0ºF outdoors and the indoor temperature was about 45ºF in my apartment, because the old radiator heating system was on the fritz.  Steam was rising from the Bistecca Modena, as it should be in a chilly room!
     A good chef takes pride in seeing steaming hot food delivered to a table.  The photos above of the steaming hot steak surely will please readers that expect to see real food photo examples attached to recipes, instead of deceptive fake photo food!

     Salsa di Pomodoro:  
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
     • Salsa di Pomodoro

     Glace Viande:
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
     • Glace Viande

     Garlic Kale:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Sautéed or braised kale is a common accompaniment for entrées in Italy!  Garlic Kale can be served as a side dish too.  
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 2 cloves of thin sliced garlic.
     Sauté till the garlic is a golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 2 cups of chopped green kale.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Sauté the kale for 1 minute.
     Step 3:  Add 3/4 cup of water.
     Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce, till the kale is tender.
     *You may have to add a splash of water more than once.   
     Step 4:  When the kale becomes tender, simmer till the excess liquid evaporates.
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of virgin olive oil.
     Stir the kale.
     Keep the Garlic Kale warm on a stove top.

     Fettuccine:
     Cook 1 small portion of fettuccine in boiling water till it is al dente.
     Cool the pasta under cold running water.
     Drain the water off of the pasta. 
     Set the pasta aside.
     *Just before serving, reheat the fettuccine by placing it in a strainer and dipping it in a pot of boiling water.

     Bistecca Modena:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Italian sauté sauces are almost always made in the same pan that the featured item is cook in. 
     Step 1:  Trim a 12 to 14 ounce ribeye steak, so there is no excess fat.  The ribeye should be trimmed, so only the lean center section of the ribeye is served.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Add the seasoned ribeye steak.
     Add two trimmed medium size fresh cave mushroom caps.
     Sear the steak on both sides.
     Cook the steak so it is rare to medium rare.
     Step 3:  *If a rare/medium rare finish temperature is desired, remove the steak from the pan before making the sauce.  Keep the steak warm on a stove top.  ...  For a medium to well done finish temperature, leave the steak in the pan while the sauce is made in the same pan.
     Reduce the temperature to medium heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of salsa pomodoro.
     Add 1/4 cup of glace viande.
     Add 1/4 cup of beef broth.
     Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
     Step 4:  Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Simmer and reduce till the sauce is a medium thin consistency.
     Remove the pan from the heat.

     Bistecca Modena with Fettuccine and Garlic Kale:
     Place the steak on the plate.
     Place the mushroom caps on top of the steak.
     Coil a small portion al dente cooked fettuccine on the plate.
     Pour most of the sauce over the steak.
     Pour a small portion of the sauce over the fettuccine pasta.
     Place the Garlic Kale on the plate or serve it on the side.

     Modena Sauce is well suited for a good ribeye steak!  

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